Transponder controls obstacle lights for Netherlands wind farm


Lanthan Safe Sky’s transponder system (known as the aircraft detection lighting system) at Wind Farm Koningspleij in Arnhem, Netherlands has been activated. Thanks to this system, the red obstacle lights of the wind turbines only turn on when aircraft traffic is detected.

This significantly reduces the nuisance of the red lights for those living near the wind farm. The Environment and Transport Inspectorate (ILT) has approved the detection system at the four wind turbines.

Lanthan Safe Sky’s aircraft detection lighting system offers relief for residents. (Courtesy: Koningspleij Wind Farm)

“We have actively informed the operators of the Gelderland wind farms about the subsidy for aircraft detection,” said Ans Mol, Gelderland energy deputy. “The aircraft detection lighting system contributes to support at wind farms, and we aim to minimise nuisance as much as possible.”

The Climate Agreement states the 30 RES regions will generate 35 TWh of renewable energy on land in the Netherlands by 2030. Gelderland’s total ambition in 2030 is 6.5 TWh, of which about 2.5 TWh will come from wind energy.

Wind turbines with a tip height of more than 15 meters, as at wind farm Koningspleij, must by law be fitted with obstacle lighting. This lighting makes the wind turbines visible to air traffic. When an aircraft approaches the wind turbine at dusk or at night, the obstacle lighting switches on. And it switches off again when no aircraft is flying near the wind turbine.

A positive collaboration between the ILT and all parties involved, as well as a test flight, led to approval of the transponder system.

Koningspleij Wind Farm generates clean energy for about 13,000 households in the region. Together, the four wind turbines can generate 34.5 million kWh of energy per year, more than 5 percent of the total electricity consumption in Arnhem.

Three of the four wind turbines at Koningspleij Wind Farm were built together with residents from Arnhem and the surrounding area. There are 575 co-owners who participate in the wind farm through Rijn en IJssel Energy cooperative.

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